What is Challenge?

Challenge is a five-week intensive program that is held every summer for incoming Georgia Tech freshman. Students from all over the world – USA, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Nigeria, Guyana, Mexico, Venezuela, and Panama - participate in the Challenge program. Over the past 5 years, Challenge students who FULLY ENGAGED in the program had an average fall first semester GPA of 3.58. Yes that was not a misprint…3.58!!! The GT majority population freshmen average was approximately 3.30 and the non-Challenge minority average was 3.07. The term Fully Engaged simply means that these students took advantage of the Challenge program opportunities and performed successfully. The Challenge program is not easy; being Fully Engaged takes hard work. But if working hard for 5-weeks can lead to a first semester GPA of 3.58, then the program is fully worth $500 program fee. In fact, if your student Fully Engages in Challenge, they will most likely receive a partial or full refund from Challenge.

During Challenge students study Calculus 1, Calculus 2, General Chemistry, Chemistry for Chemistry based majors, Computer Science, and Academic Writing/Seminar on a daily basis. They adventure out on field trips to Tennessee for whitewater rafting, to a theater for the world premiere of a play, to two different community service project locations, to a corporate manufacturing facility and headquarters in West Georgia, to Lenox Mall, to the Center for Civil Rights, to the Campus Recreational Center for a basketball match, soccer match, and salsa lessons.  Challenge has featured dynamic speakers like Dr. Alduan Tartt, Dr. Calvin Mackie, and Dr. Gregory Ellison II.   Students mingle with corporate representatives from Southwire, Procter and Gamble, Intel, 3M, Air Products, John Deere, Eaton, BP, Exxon, and others.

 Many of you may be thinking the same question: “Can I really get all of this for only $500?”  The answer is YES!

The Challenge program is run out of the Office of Minority Educational Development (OMED). OMED is an ACADEMIC unit of Georgia Tech, which has been charged to create and implement educational services that positively impact performance and retention of students who are underrepresented in careers in engineering and science. Included in this group of students are those who are African-American, Hispanic, Native American, and Multi-Racial, however all students are welcome to participate in Challenge as well as other programs.

Georgia Tech graduates more African-American and Hispanic engineers than anyone in the US.   OMED has put together a program that costs over $2500 per student, yet only ask that you contribute a fraction of that.  This is due to great contributions from the state and our corporate partners. OMED is a data driven organization and uses statistical analysis as a basis of all of its programs, philosophies, and modeling. We want your student to succeed so we have dedicated resources to enhance the probability of their success.

Read about the benefits of Challenge here

Challenge History

The Challenge program began in the summer of 1980. The program initially started out of the necessity to provide Georgia Tech minority freshman a means of introduction to the strenuous academic environment of engineering. Rapid growth and exposure of the program caused participation numbers to rise from approximately 30 students in the early stages to as many as 80-100 students in recent years.

During its beginning, OMED found strong correlation between the first term GPA and their graduation rate five years later. As a result, in 1990, OMED implemented a paradigm shift to reflect a more comprehensive academic model with increased student expectations based on success strategies. This shift was directly applied to the Challenge program. From 1993 to present, the Challenge program coins itself as an “Academic Pre-Season”, which stresses hard work on the front end of a students’ academic journey and significant benefits at the end of the journey.

While Challenge has historically targeted minority students, the program is open to all freshmen students.



Over the past 5 years, challenge students who FULLY ENGAGED in the program had an average fall first semester GPA of 3.58. Yes that was not a misprint…3.58!!! The GT majority population freshmen average was approximately 3.30. Comparatively, eligible students that chose not to participate in Challenge average GPA was 3.07. Learn more about Challenge and Apply Today!



Challenge is often referred to as “The Ultimate Academic Pre-Season”. Georgia Tech accepts some of the brightest students in the world. Attending the Challenge program allows students to get a glimpse of the academic rigor and competitive nature, early. By “practicing” how to handle this environment, Challenge students will be better prepared in the Fall. Why start Tech without a preseason?


Courses & Activities

Challenge students are immersed in the Georgia Tech environment; they live in a freshman dorm, take courses provided by Georgia Tech professors, and participate in professional, academic, community, and social workshop activities. Click below to learn more about Challenge Courses & Activities.

Applicant Details

Challenge 2017 will be held, June 24 – July 28. Here you will find essential details to help you plan for your participation in this year’s program and aid in your successful transition from home to Georgia Tech’s campus.